Daniel Oss of BMC Racing pulled on the first leader’s jersey of this year’s Giro del Trentino after his team blasted around the 14.3km course of the opening team time trial to win stage one by 5 seconds. The surprise of the day came in second place as Team NetApp-Endura pushed Team Sky into third place with a blistering time that was four seconds faster than the original team time trial favourites. Movistar came in fourth three seconds behind Team Sky, while the Cannondale team of George Bennett finished one second behind them.April 23rd, ’14.
Although all the riders that crossed the line together on the BMC team received the same time, Oss crossing the line first meant that he technically has the shortest time out of anyone and therefore is the overall race leader. The win carries particular significance for the Italian as the 27-year old lives just an hour away from where the stage was held; in Trento. “It is amazing because this is my home and I did not expect this result,” Oss said afterwards, “I was a bit nervous before, but I wanted to do this and we did it. So I feel good now.”
Team Sky were left on the back foot, finishing with their minimum of five riders after Ian Boswell dropped off the pace early on in their ride. But they pulled together well to finish third under the guidance of Olympic time trial champion Sir Bradley Wiggins; fifth overall in last year’s race. But credit where it’s due for Team NetApp-Endura and their leader Leopold Konig. The 26-year old Czech rider has been out of action with a knee injury since the Tour of Oman, but the talent in the mountains is back and clearly in good form. Afterwards team director Enrico Poitschke said, “We weren’t counting on a podium spot with this heavily competitive field. Second place is yet another level compared to previous years. The team worked incredibly well today, and everyone rode at their limit and without making any mistakes. And when that’s rewarded with such a good result, then everyone can be very satisfied.”
Kiwi rider George Bennett and his Cannondale team put in a solid performance in their team time trial to round out the top five. With time gaps very narrow between the chief contenders everything is still all to play for when the race hits the mountains tomorrow; but we caught up with George Bennett to see how he and the team viewed their performance. “It was a mixed bag,” he commented, “We wanted a podium or better, we knew BMC were the team to beat, they brought a specific team for this race, we made a few errors but in general we had a reasonable ride.” Bennett has been busy on a team training camp in recent times, taking on the high altitude roads in Tenerife to get best preparation for these upcoming races, and his training will certainly come in handy with three summit finishes to come in the next three stages “[I] feel good, climbing well, will be working for the boys [Ivan Basso and Moreno Moser] but that might mean lighting it up at some stage, not sure yet but we will see.” We’re certainly looking forward to seeing George on form in the mountains; and he’ll need to be tomorrow as stage two looks to be a tough one.
Stage 2 will take the field from Limone sul Garda to San Giacomo di Brentonico; a distance of 164.5km. Although the first 150km or so are relatively straightforward with two second category ascents of the Vigolo Vattaro to tackle after 74km and 108km, the big challenge will come at the end. The climb up to the finish line is 15km in length at an average of 6.9% gradient. Its nastiest point is after 9km where the road goes up to nearly 12%, so don’t be surprised to see some splits amongst the leaders and potentially someone trying to attack from around 6km out. It will be interesting to see how Bradley Wiggins’ climbing legs are faring after racing in Paris-Roubaix last week. Cadel Evans will also be one to watch as he finishes his preparations before the Giro d’Italia. The big threats from the Italians will probably come from Cannondale’s Ivan Basso and Astana’s Michele Scarponi. The the battle begin!
Stage 1 results:
1st: BMC Racing
2nd: Team NetApp-Endura
3rd: Team Sky
4th: Movistar Team
6th: Astana Pro Team
9th: CCC Polsat Polkowice
10th: Team Colombia
General classification after stage 1:
1st: Daniel Oss (ITA) BMC Racing
2nd: Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC Racing
3rd: Rick Zabel (GER) BMC Racing
4th: Steve Morabito (SWI) BMC Racing
5th: Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing
6th: Yannick Eijssen (BEL) BMC Racing
7th: Iker Camano Ortuzar (SPA) Team NetApp Endura
8th: David De La Cruz Melgarejo (SPA) Team NetApp Endura
9th: Leopold Konig (CZE) Team NetApp Endura
10th: Jose Pimenta Costa Mendes (POR) Team NetApp Endura
31st: George Bennett (NZ) Cannondale
To view more results from Giro del Trentino stage 1 click here.
By: Ed Wright